Black Star and Reflection Eternal (both albums) are classic Hip Hop records for me, Gravitas is Kweli finally bringing us a solo LP that lives up to his skill and work in the previously mentioned projects. I have always found Kweli's albums enjoyable but never great overall works despite some stella songs within them. Beautiful struggle and Eardrum had a lot of potential but didnt quite propel him to commercial stardom as they should have and susequent albums like Gutter Rainbow or P.O.C were solid records but not as great and cohesive collections. Gravitas although a little shorter on tracks is much more consistant with some great production and a large number of standout tracks like State Of Grace and Violations, Rare Portraits and Wormhole.
As stated above, was tempted to rate the product 5 stars just to even out the average score of the product but couldn't bring myself to do it- Think this is a solid 3.5/4 star rated album (at least by Talib Kweli's standards)
Not his best work (which will always be 'Reflection Eternal' in my eyes- Still a classic to this day) but very solid all the same.
Of the 11 tracks, 5 are produced by producers who i'm familiar with- 3 by Oh No, 1 by Statik Selektah and one by the late great J Dilla- This totally goes against the other reviewers argument of the beats being weak- Colours Of You (J Dilla) is classic Dilla, and definitely not a throwaway beat Talib Kweli got his hands on- Possibly my favourite track on the album, so laid back...
There's 9 guest artists on the 11 tracks (5 tracks are guest free, and you could possibly count this as 7 tracks, being as 2 of the guests are only there to sing the hooks on their respective tracks) Cameos from Big K.R.I.T., Raekwon, Black Thought & Rah Digga (remember her??!) are welcome and thankfully its not guest cameo overload.
The lyrical content is nothing you wouldn't expect to hear from a Talib Kweli album; again, not a bad thing at all as he rarely drops a weak verse- Again, i'm going to have to totally go against Martin Crabtree's review where he claimed the lyrics are weak (& he then had the cheek to say the album will appeal to the bling bling middleclasser(???) Since when has Talib Kweli's music EVER been classed as 'bling bling' hip hop?? Idiot)
So to summarise, definitely worth checking out at least once- One of the better hip hop albums of 2014 thus far but by no means the best- Enjoyable all the same!!